Constant innovation and creativity is a must in the field of sales. This is especially true when it comes to prospecting methods.
More than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. Finding new and efficient ways to connect and sell to other business professionals is important for success.
Here at Kara, we’re a team of former salespeople with immense experience in prospecting. Read on to find out some of our most helpful tips and useful prospecting techniques to help you get new clients and close those sales deals.
1. Know your customer base well
This all comes down to research, and is one of the best sales prospecting methods. First, find out what your ideal customer profile is. This includes which products or services they use, which ones are the most profitable, and how they became customers. Once you know all the details about your customers, you’ll be able to target the right prospects to turn them into customers.
2. Identify ways to meet prospects (and don’t discount the cold call)
Meeting ideal prospects should be your first priority. You need to classify the best (read: most profitable) customers on your list. Although this ties into the aforementioned point, you’ll need to take things a step further.
Once you know how they’ve become your customer, you can start figuring out the most successful ways to prospect within your particular industry. Whether it’s through a cold call, a referral, a seminar, or through an ad, you need to classify them. The most effective way out of all these should be your top priority.
Although it can vary by industry, location, and company, the cold call isn’t actually as out of style as you might think. While cold calling is one of the oldest prospecting techniques in the book, connecting with someone via phone in this digital age may just be having a comeback. In fact, 69% of customers accepted at least one cold call from a sales rep in 2020, according to Resourceful Selling.
3. Make various call lists
You need to have more than one call list. You need to have a cold call list, a warm list, and a lost lead list. You need to prioritize them all and take time each day to call people on those lists. Phone calls, even today, have a high sales ratio.
And don’t forget to follow up. Over 50% of leads never get a second cold call from salespeople, a Velocify study noted. Your lists should also have space to note follow up calls.
4. Write personalized emails
The more personalized the email, the better chance you have of connecting with or impressing a future client. If you know what demographic, income bracket, or interests you’re targeting, you’re more likely to make a sale. This is because you’ll know the pain points that you have to address and the market that you have to satisfy.
Personalized emails have a 26% higher opening rate than mass emails. Using the right kind of content and strategy, you can take that rate higher for your company. Think about the kind of personalized attention you’d like to see when receiving an email. Channel that when writing your emails. No one likes getting a mass email or feeling like they aren’t special enough to be singled out with a personal note.
5. Referrals are gold
If you make a customer happy, they refer you to their colleagues, friends and family members. Nothing is better than word of mouth marketing because your reputation precedes you. It’s usually delivered to prospects that already trust the source and don’t have to worry about credibility. Or, maybe that colleague is specifically in the market to buy, so you won’t have to do too much convincing.
91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word of mouth marketing rather than any other form of marketing. After all, wouldn’t you rather buy from a trusted source that comes recommended?
Plus, the referral-based closing ratio stands between 50-70%. That’s much better than any other form of marketing.
6. Do your research
In order to be trustworthy, you need to be straightforward with your customer. That’s not something that comes from memorizing great marketing lines. It comes from actually knowing something about the product that relates to the customer.
This is why you need to know your stuff inside and out: the product you’re selling, the industry you’re targeting, your potential customer, and most of all, how your product can solve their problem, fill a void in their industry, or benefit them. Be prepared for any questions, and make sure to listen carefully to what your customer is telling you, so you can best serve them.
When you give things to your customer straight, they’ll respect you, and by default, your company. Even if you don’t make a direct sale, you may eventually get them to buy later on if they trust you.
7. Build a strong social media presence
Social media is a necessary evil when it comes to marketing. Billions of people practically live on social media now. They engage with their favorite brands through things like impressions, comments, direct messages, shares, etc.
In fact, 91% of all B2B buyers are now active and involved in social media. If that’s not a market that you’re actively participating in, you’re missing out on hundreds, perhaps, thousands of prospects.
Obviously, social media has many different platforms, so dig for the right ones that fit your company and customer’s needs the most. For some, this could be LinkedIn, others, Instagram.
8. Send prospects the right content
The type of content that you have to send can sometimes be tricky. You need to know what you’re trying to achieve during the prospecting stage in order to move down the sales funnel. Your potential buyer needs to pay attention to that information in order to move to the next stage.
In general, the content should focus on the customer’s pain points. Don’t focus on your product as much as the customer’s needs. Your prospect should understand exactly how what you’re selling can help solve their pain points, and the right content can guide them to that understanding.
9. Use video to showcase your product
Video may seem like a lot of work, but it can be extremely effective in gaining new clients.
Video is actually the opposite of other content that might need to look polished and concise, like a brochure or brief.
The more amateur and spontaneous it looks, the better. You don’t need fancy graphics and great lighting. You can just film yourself talking with decent audio and video about your product and how it can benefit the customer’s needs. A more casual video can help a customer or prospect trust you and feel comfortable around you. And any sales rep can do it quickly and easily on their smartphone.
10. Follow up
We discussed the merits of a follow up call earlier, but it’s really important to continue building a relationship with a potential client. It may be the difference in making that sale.
You probably won’t see a sale manifest right when you make the first call. Moving a cold call into lukewarm and then hot territory requires follow up calls. Make sure that your follow ups are timely and don’t spend too much time letting your prospects cool off. Follow ups can also be in the form of email, video, or in-person meetings.
While many of these sales techniques aren’t new, they’re certainly creative and innovative ways to take your prospecting to the next level. Remember, before a sale can happen, you first have to prospect. The better you can get at prospecting, the more likely you’ll be to gain clients, make sales, and increase profit for both you and your company.